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Mache lettuce is small to medium in size with delicate, elongated leaves that can grow up to fifteen centimeters in length. The bright green leaves are thin, pliable, and smooth with a spatulate shape and grow in a loose, rosette pattern of 6-8 leaves. The ends of the leaves are typically rounded with semi-toothed edges, and prominent veins span across the surface. The stems are also green, razor thin, and tender. Mache lettuce is soft, velvety, and crisp with a mild, herbal, and nutty flavor.
Mache lettuce is available year-round.
Mache lettuce, botanically classified as Valerianella locusta, is an annual heirloom variety that is a member of the Caprifoliaceae family. There are over two-hundred different Mache varieties, each varying in flavor, quality, and adaptability. Also known as Vit, Corn Salad, Field lettuce, and Lamb's lettuce, a name given because of the leaf’s similarity in shape to a lamb's tongue, Mache lettuce grows very low to the ground and is connected by individual, delicate stems. Due to its fragility, Mache lettuce has earned the classification of a gourmet green as each leaf must be harvested with precision which lowers production and increases costs. Mache lettuce is extremely popular in Europe and is favored for its velvety, soft texture and mild flavor.
Mache lettuce contains vitamins A, B6, and C, iron, copper, folic acid, and potassium.
Mache lettuce is best suited for raw applications as its tender nature cannot withstand high heat in cooked applications. It can be used in a petite salad as the leaves hold dressings and oils well, or it can be used as an accouterment to appetizer plates and first courses. The leaves can also be served fresh as a bed or garnish for cooked meats and vegetable dishes. Though the leaves are not typically cooked, in European countries they are often braised in light sauces. Mache lettuce pairs well with walnuts, anchovies, grilled fish, hardboiled eggs, bacon, poultry, forest mushrooms, red or yellow bell pepper, asparagus, ramps, avocado, berries, stone fruit, grapefruit, blood oranges, kumquats, new potatoes, fennel fronds, spring onions, green garlic, scapes, lemongrass, parsley, mint, and arugula. It is recommended to use the leaves immediately as they are best when fresh, but they will keep 2-3 days when stored in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.
Mache was once considered a weed in Europe before it was cultivated and grown for consumption. Found in corn, wheat, and rye fields, farmers in France began noticing the weed, discovered that is was edible, and began cultivating it as a lettuce in the 17th century. Today Mache is a favorite green in France and is traditionally dressed in a simple vinaigrette with walnut or hazelnut oil and is served with roasted beets, hardboiled eggs, and other greens such as arugula or endive. It is also a popular lettuce for home gardens as it is fairly easy to grow and provides sweet flavors with a soft, tender texture.
Mache lettuce is native to France and has been growing wild since ancient times. Cultivated in the 17th century under the name Doucette, Mache lettuce was then introduced from France to the American commercial market by agricultural innovator and grower, Todd Koons, who was the same person responsible for the launch of universal bagged mixed greens. Mache established a commercial home among other popular greens in the marketplace during the late 20th century, and today it can be found at farmers markets and specialty grocers in Europe, Asia, northern Africa, and North America.
Recipes that include Mache. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Food Network||Mache and Herb Power Salad|
|Melanie Cooks||Salad With Mache Lettuce (Lamb's Lettuce) And Avocado|
|Hungry Foodies Pharmacy||Roasted Beet, D'Anjou Pear, Mache Salad|
|Chocolate and Zucchini||Soupe de Mâche au Poulet|
Someone shared Mache using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
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Elsey & BentNear London, England, United Kingdom
8 Southwark St London England SE1 1TL
About 183 days ago, 9/24/22